LASESARRE, SPAIN - AUGUST 5: Puma Orbita, the official match ball of LaLiga in detail prior the pre-season friendly match between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad on August 5, 2022 at Lasesarre Stadium in Barakaldo, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 195228971

It’s Team of the Weekend time! The Premier League returned after the enforced international break absence and as usual threw up some brilliant and bizarre moments. I’m here to pick an 11 from the highlights and lowlight and a manager to keep them all in line.

Who makes the squad this week?


Jordan Pickford – It’s been an interesting week for Pickford. On England duty he showed the best and worst of his ball playing skills, spraying out passes with tremendous accuracy before trying to Cruyff turn his way out of trouble and somehow not conceding a penalty in the aftermath. Back on club duty though and Pickford earned his place thanks to a penalty save from Milivojevic which helped Everton on their way to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Like all young goalkeepers you have to take the rough with the smooth and thankfully his smooth is usually very good indeed.


Vincent Kompany – What did Aaron Lennon ever do to you? After just 30 seconds, Vinny planted his studs in Aaron Lennon’s thigh at the cost of just a yellow card. Sean Dyche was naturally incensed and he’s always kind of mad.

Lewis Dunk – I could have picked any of Brighton’s defenders but I went with Dunk as like his pal Duffy he headed absolutely everything out of danger at St James’ Park. He showed he was completely worthy of his place in the previous England squad and even though it was completely to my detriment, you have to admit when someone on the other team is impressive.

Wesley Hoedt – I basically called Wesley worse than mud a few weeks ago and I fully expected him to get torn apart by Wilson and King at Bournemouth. However as usual it’s me who is left with egg on my face as Hoedy put in a solid performance to help Southampton to an unlikely clean sheet. Consider this an apology.


Bernardo Silva – I’ve included Bernardo because he scored the most ridiculous goal of the weekend. Not in a good way. It all came about because Leroy Sane fell down and Jon Moss did the old “pretend to give a free kick” feint which threw Burnley players off the scent. David Silva – standing off the pitch but technically offside – crossed a ball that was out of play for Bernardo to finish to give City a 2-0 lead. Sean Dyche said he was confused, which is possibly the biggest crime in all of this. The standard of officiating seemed poor across the board this weekend.

Etienne Capoue – What I love about this strike is that it is so accurate it nutmegs Conor Coady from about 20 yards. It gives the goalkeeper no chance and it sent Watford on their way to the coupon buster of the weekend, beating much fancied Wolves at Molineux. Watford have become a very difficult team to predict and they will hope this win signifies a return to form as their good start was beginning to look wasted.

Andre Schurrle – Well this was a good goal wasn’t it? A fine strike from way out for Fulham’s World Cup winner but it’s a shame they can’t defend…at all. The “score one more than you” policy is not working out well for them at all and shipping four goals to Cardiff is the biggest disaster of them all.

Josh Murphy – Cardiff were the benefactors of the aforementioned Fulham tomfoolery and £11m man Josh Murphy was particularly useful. He scored and was a constant thorn in the Fulham defence. He’s showed flashes of his talent in their opening games but it all came together for him on Saturday to give his side their first win of the season.

Erik Lamela – Now that Lamela’s hips work again he’s really proving what a good player he is. His latest contribution brought Spurs three points away at West Ham which hasn’t always been a happy hunting ground for them but Lamela has consistently played a part in the goals Tottenham have scored this season, whether it be goals or assists, and I think that is a little bit overlooked.


Anthony Martial – Hats off to the man having the greatest comeback since Luke Shaw. It was all paternity this and not coming back for pointless pre-season games in America that in the summer but three goals in two games may have saved both his and Jose Mourinho’s Man Utd careers. His second goal in particular was quite poignant – a horrendous first touch offset by a beautiful curling finish. Maybe he should get a regular run in the team now, don’t you think Jose?

Cenk Tosun – Do not adjust your picture, Cenk Tosun has actually scored! Marco Silva came up trumps with a pair of substitutions that ultimately lead Everton to two late goals to beat Palace and Tosun will be hoping this sparks a return to the form he showed on his arrival in the Premier League in January.


Neil Warnock – Hands up who expected Cardiff to score 4 in any game this season? The youth of today have a phrase about taking old school to new school and I can only assume this is the type of thing they are referring to. It lifted Cardiff off the bottom of the table and Bluebirds fans will be hoping it’s the start of their survival challenge.

That’s all from me this week but I’ll be back later in the week with more frivolity from the world of the Premier League. Toodles for now!